“A universal peace … is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.” – James Madison (1792)
Two seemingly contradictory statements. Yet, we find the proof of these in the actions of the Taliban. Within 100 hours of their leaders’ signatures affixed to peace terms, the Taliban reloaded and have gone back to fighting. Perhaps these folks have nothing better to do?
What is definitely proven up is the necessity that the US keeps itself in a state of constant readiness and being willing to fight where and when necessary. The other option is unacceptable – the loss of what we are as a nation and our role in God’s greater plan as the beacon of hope, freedom and liberty.
If we’r looking for the cause this time around, it rests on Taliban leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada on the main. But, it also rests on those who thought we should stick around once our mission was accomplished and wanted to build a type of nation-state that Afghanistan has never been. The resumption of hostilities is based on the demand for the immediate release of 5000 hardened Talibanists coupled with attacks on our Afghani ally. In response we have release defensive airstrikes in Akhundzada’s stronghold in Helmand province. There was literally very little choice but do fire this warning shot across their bow.
In considering these events, please do recall that President Trump has sought to find a way out from this conflict and the one in Iraq. This extrication like the above quote are far more complicated than their surface contradiction suggests. What is clear, extremely clear is that we have no definition of what victory is beyond removing the clear and once present threats that existed in both nations. That we should have kept to the original plans.
But once again our better nature and hopeful optimism sought to leave these places better than we found them. Perhaps this simply isn’t possible? Perhaps it’s time we stop giving up our blood and treasure for peoples who do not wish for peace as we so urgently and deeply do.
Mission creep did exactly that and now perhaps it’s becoming clear that as President Trump campaigned on, it’s time to beat those swords into plowshare. If not there, at least for the United States. But even as we do, if we can, we must always keep the weary eye of vigilance open and ourselves prepared to do what we must.